What was hot in the Hub at TEDxSydney 2018

Sharon Timms

‘Finding Your Tribe’ has become the catch cry of our generation. Advertisers, businesses, bloggers and gurus all chatter about how linking together with like-minded people is essential for the growth of ourselves, our communities and our professional circles, giving meaning and connectivity in an increasingly physically disconnected world. Finding your ‘tribe’ means finding your people; and not just those who also like peanut butter, banana and vegemite on toast (it’s a thing, okay?), but finding true synergy with others where it really counts – our ethics, our beliefs and our ultimate goals. And what better place to find a tribe than at an event that naturally attracts the brightest and most inquisitive of minds?

In addition to the eighteen speakers, seven performers and 5000 attendees at this year’s TEDxSydney were a number of behind-the-scenes folk creating pockets of connectedness and community at The HUB – a space specifically designed to incite conversation on common ground. As with all major events, it’s not always about what’s in the program that gets us all fired up. Some of the most watercooler-conversation inducing moments happened here in The HUB, including the following:


I love hummus. Homemade, shop bought, even those ones that aren’t really hummus with the jalapenos and sundried tomatoes because #sofancy. Cricket hummus – yep, that’s right, made with dried and powdered arthropods – probably won’t be getting stocked on the shelves of Woolies anytime soon, however I can absolutely confirm it was pretty delicious. Holding fort at the Innovation and Invention tribe, long-time supporters of TEDxSYDNEY –  the good folk from The Edible Bug Shop – were onsite to talk bugs, nutrition, and why we should be eating more crawlies. Lipsmackingly good.


If the words of Solli Raphael were enough to inspire you to get on stage and slam out your best poetry, the stage at the Storytellers tribe was the hot spot to be. Extraordinary words, heartfelt words, letters to your younger self, letters to your unborn daughter, words to beats and sounds, this tribe was the place to be for anyone wanting to express their spoken stories.


So, we all know that Harris Farms have their imperfect picks – fruit and veg that aren’t pretty enough to be on the official shelves, but still taste ah-mazing – but what happens to the fruit and veg that not even a mother could love? Another tick for the Innovation and Invention tribe, turns out that these fruit go to make concentrate, and when pressed to extract juices, the by-product is a non-reusable liquid that, until now, has simply been discarded.

Well. The good folk at AquaBotanical have cleverly worked out a way to extract and filter this liquid, add a little carbonation, bottle it, and –  voila –  clear and clean tasting water (with a hint of whatever fruit or vegetable it’s come from, mine was tomato) that leaves your taste buds looking for more. Apart from the fact that it tastes good, this water has a social conscience and has wide-ranging implications for third world countries where the water may not be potable because it’s dirty or contains other contaminants.


From booty to bunda shaking and everything in between, what better way to re-energise than getting on your feet with a power session of dance. I love dancing on bar tops as much as the next person (yeah you do, don’t pretend you don’t…), so this 20 minutes of shaking it off with Shyamla with the Body Mind & Soul tribe was the perfect fix. Blood pumping Brazilian followed by some ghetto hip hop, finishing off with a Bollywood dance off had me all ready for the rest of the day’s speakers.

This list is far from exhaustive. There were adventures of the virtual kind over at the Technology and Future tribe, unleashing wall drawing (like my mum always told me not to…) with the Creative & Curious tribe, see saws, giant Jenga and giant Connect Four at the Serious Play area, and of course a chance to meet, chat and hang with speakers from throughout the day. The Hub was certainly a hive of bouncing ideas and inspiring chats, and we will certainly welcome it back to TEDxSydney 2019.


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